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Suggestions for FIRST pair of GOOD shoes/boots?

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 
So I'm just beginning a complete upgrade of my wardrobe, and would like to now focus on getting good shoes/boots (anxious to get rid of my Kenneth Coles!). Brown is my first choice, and I would like to wear them with everything from jeans to a navy suit. This is a big decision for me because I see them as the foundation of my new wardrobe. Looking for versatility, quality and of course style. Willing to spend up to $350. Ideas? Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 56
For 65 pounds, you could order:

(It says Loake Shoemaker, but they're actually Loake 1880, so much better quality.)

I have a pair, and they polish up very well indeed, and look good with jeans. I wouldn't wear brown shoes with a suit, but if you do, I guess that would look fine too.

This would leave you money spare for another pair.
post #3 of 56
That is a terrific deal. How would I know my sizing in Loake. Here in Canada I only have access to Allen Edmonds to compare. I could try a pair on in the store and then buy based on that.
post #4 of 56
I'll recommend AEs, if you like the look. They're very good shoes, even at full retail, but can be had on deep discount easily. You could get two pairs for your money. And they're commonly available, so you can try them on to get a good fit.

I can't really second the suggestion of Loakes, even the top-end range. They're OK as a beater shoe, in my book, but mine are neither particularly comfortable nor well made. Had they been my first good shoe, I'd have wondered what the hype over good shoes was about. (Size-wise, Loakes run very large. Most people suggest sizing down at least a whole size -- 9 to 8, say -- from their U.S. size.)

Other options: Sierra Trading Post and stores such as Century 21, Saks Off-Fifth and Marshalls often get in some nice shoes. You could read up on quality brands here and at AA and see what you can find. Jcusey's shoe pyramid is a good starting point, if you haven't seen it:

Good luck, and let us know what you end up with.
post #5 of 56
Second the vote for AE. It's where I started and I still use every pair.
post #6 of 56
Thread Starter 
Thanks a lot guys for the tips. I think I will go the AE route. Which of the AEs below do you like best. To help you get an idea of my lifestyle and what I would like to wear the shoes with, out of 10 days at work, I wear jeans (dark, dry) 5 days, wool slacks 2 days, cords 2 days, and a navy/charcoal suit 1 day.
post #7 of 56
I like the first ones
post #8 of 56
You're asking a lot of one pair of shoes stylistically and also use wise. You'll wear a pair of shoes out very quickly if you wear them every day. You need to rest them. Keep your Coles around until you get enough quality pairs to rotate.

If only buying one pair, I would consider the monks, which actually could go from jeans to cords to suits. If buying two pairs, I would make one of them a black Byron or Park Avenue to wear with your suits. Later you can add brown shoes to wear with your suits. Start with black then diversify. I'd make the more casual shoes (monks, split-toe, maybe) certainly brown.
post #9 of 56
agree with AlanC. you really need another pair for rotation. assuming that the styles and sizes agree with you, STP seems like the best way to go. two pairs of AEs plus the 15% SF discount (which expires soon i might add) should put you under $350.

post #10 of 56
Monks will transition easier from jeans to suits IMO.
Just try them on first, then hunt for the deals. They have a shoe bank which is factory seconds at a good discount.
Burgundy and chili from AE goes well with most clothing colors mentioned.
post #11 of 56
I second the vote for AE.

AE has a few sizes of fairfax on eBay right now, which would go well with jeans.
Here's the link.
Buy a matching pair of shoe trees from them (free shipping) and you would still have $200 to spend on more dressy ones (plenty of them on eBay).

Good luck!
post #12 of 56
I like the first ones.

I picked up a pair of jodepher carmina boots from Peter Elliot's outlet for $300 even including tax.

There are some loafers still there, good deal imho.
post #13 of 56
I'll agree with AlanC - having tried the same tactic you mentioned myself you'll simply tear any single pair of shoes apart if you wear them every day. Yes, the better quality shoes will last a little longer, but still, you will wear them out faster than if you can rotate them. So how about waiting 'till you can pick up 3 pairs that can be rotated?

And a suggestion? RM Williams Craftsman - they're great boots
post #14 of 56
I won't recommend specific shoes, but stylistically, I would buy a monkstrap or a chelsea boot for maximum versatility. They're acceptable with a suit and good with anything else. If you wear mostly suits, I might suggest a wholecut oxford, perhaps with a floating medallion. The wholecut style is unquestionably fashionable with a suit and OK with jeans.
post #15 of 56
i agree - keep your KC's in the rotation, get the monks (which i think is on sale on zappos). whatever you do, don't wear the monks on back-to-back days.

if you're flexible, you can just lurk on ebay and see if you can snag a second pair of brand new AE's for $80-$150.
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